Theodore Racing Ltd.
Theodore Racing was a motorsport team that belonged to the Hong Kong-based businessman Teddy Yip . The team was engaged from 1977 to 1984 in Formula 1 and in the Aurora - and the CART series. In a few years the team constructed their own racing cars. At times, it was closely associated with the Formula 1 racing teams Shadow and Ensign . The white painted cars of Theodore were often provided with unusual Chinese characters and brought in the opinion of observers a "mysterious Asian flair" in international motorsport. Special importance for the team had the traditional Macau Grand Prix , as its initiator Yip applies.
Owner of the team Theodore Racing was Teddy Yip, a Chinese-born businessman of Dutch nationality born in Indonesia in 1907. Yip had earned a considerable fortune through various businesses, but especially through the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM), which he founded . The STDM temporarily had the monopoly on gambling in the Portuguese colony of Macau held; Yip also entertained other companies in the leisure and tourism industry. He is considered one of the central figures in the tourist development of Macao. The economic success of his companies has allowed Yip to devote himself to motorsport in his free time since the 1950s. Until 1963 he participated as a driver in automobile races, especially at the Macau Grand Prix, which he finished in 1963 in third place. After that, Yip focused on running his own racing team, which he used regularly in Macao until the 1980s. Since the early 1970s, Yip has expanded its commitment to international motorsport. From 1974 to 1976 he supported the Formula 5000 bets by Alan Jones , Brian Redman and Vern Schuppan, In 1974, Teddy Yip first appeared in Formula 1, three years in the American Cart series. In Formula 1, he drove several tracks. In addition to supporting independent racing teams ( Ensign , Shadow and RAM ) established Yip own racing team, which even occasionally constructed their own vehicles. Between the Formula 1 engagements, the team took part in the Formula 1 rules held Aurora series . At the end of the 1980s, Yip slowly ended his motorsport and economic commitment and handed over his economic empire to his son-in-law.
Theodore Racing has participated in Formula One in various forms over the years. Theodore started as a sponsor ( 1974 to 1977 ), developed into a customer team ( 1978 ) and eventually became an independent factory team, the own Formula 1 cars constructed ( 1981 to 1983 ).
1974 to 1977
In 1974, Teddy Yip participated for the first time in Formula One. At that time, the team Theodore Racing did not yet exist in Formula 1 as an organizational unit. Theodore Yip was in 1974 only sponsor Vern Schuppans, who made his Formula 1 debut in the Ensign factory team. In the message list, the name Theodore not yet appeared in this year. Schuppan's involvement with Ensign was based on seven races. The Australian qualified three times but finished only in his first race - the Belgian Grand Prix .
Two years later in 1976 , the name Theodore Racing first appeared in the Formula 1 World Championship: Yip acquired the right to report the Ronnie Peterson driven second car of the March -Werksteams for the Grand Prix of the United States West under the name Theodore Racing . Irrespective of this name, March organized the race of the Peterson car, which crossed the finish line in 10th place on the Long Beach Grand Prix Circuit .
For the Grand Prix of Great Britain in 1977 , the team Theodore Racing Hong Kong appeared in Formula 1 Under this designation, an Ensign N177 was reported for the French racing driver Patrick Tambay , who made his first attempts in Formula 1 here.
In 1977, Theodore Racing did not have its own infrastructure. Theodore was only name sponsor for the second car of the Ensign team, which had previously competed only with a vehicle (for Clay Regazzoni ) in the Formula 1 World Championship. Yip used a procedure that was not uncommon in the 1970s. In order to duly take into account the sponsors of the drivers, different drivers of the same team could be reported under separate, divergent names. Ensign then organized in the second half of 1977, the race for both Regazzoni and Tambay. Regazzoni's car was reported under the name Team Tissot Ensign with Castrol , while Tambay's car nominally forTheodore Racing Hong Kong competed.
Although drove both Ensign pilots a N177; Tambay's car, however, was more competitive than the works car Regazzonis. Teddy Yip provided Tambay with funding for a high-powered Cosworth engine that was up to date, while Regazzoni's financially troubled Ensign team could only rely on less sturdy second-hand engines. Yip also funded Tambay's private test drives that were denied to Regazzoni.
The secured financing of his mission paid off for Tambay. Already in his first race, the Frenchman prevailed against the experienced Regazzoni in the Theodore-Ensign: While the Ticino failed to qualify, Tambay qualified for the 16th place in front of Patrick Depailler in the Tyrrell P34 and Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the turbo-driven Renault . In the race he retired after three laps because of electrical failure. In the following races Tambay qualified first before Regazzoni; his best starting position was position seven at the Grand Prix of Austria, Towards the end of the season, the Ticinese but managed to consolidate his performance, so he then started mostly before Tambay. The only non-qualification of Theodore Ensign was at the United States Grand Prix East .
Tambay already scored his first championship point in his second race, the German Grand Prix , when he finished sixth in the Ferrari, just one and a half minutes behind winner Niki Lauda . Two fifth places in the Netherlands and Canada made Tambay complete the first World Cup with five points. Just as many had Regazzoni retracted throughout the season.
After three years of mere sponsorship in Formula 1, Yip founded his own racing team for the 1978 season, which had its own infrastructure. Theodore Racing was structured as a customer team, so first set up a motor and a chassis, which he bought from an established manufacturer. It was one of the last teams to follow this concept.
Theodore Racing first used a car in 1978, which Yip had taken over from Ralt and was called Theodore TR1 . After the car proved to be not competitive, Theodore switched to cars from Walter Wolf , which brought no improvement.
The Theodore TR1 was developed by Ralt , a British design bureau headed by former Brabham designer Ron Tauranac . Ralt had initially wanted to use the car itself in Formula 1; However, when this plan could not be implemented for financial reasons, Tauranac sold the car to Teddy Yip.He was considered a "massive, entirely conventional car", which made an outdated impression already during his presentation.
For the first two races of the season, Theodore reported the US racing driver Eddie Cheever . Neither in Argentina nor in Brazil succeeded Cheever the qualification. For the third race Cheever moved to Team Hesketh Racing , whereupon the Finnish debutant Keke Rosberg took over his place with Theodore.
In his first appearance, the South African Grand Prix , Rosberg qualified the TR1 for 24th on the grid (ahead of Cheever in Hesketh). In the race itself Rosberg was only 15 laps wide, then broke a technical component. In the official statistics, a failure due to a defective clutch recorded, other sources report that the brakes were collapsed. As a result of this error, Rosberg collided with the Theodore in a boundary wall. The car was badly damaged. Rosberg was uninjured, but inhaled escaping gasoline vapors and suffered a respiratory tract irritation.
The team competed for the following World Championship races up to the Grand Prix of Spain in an unchanged position, but Rosberg failed regularly in the qualification or the prequalification. An exception was the BRDC International Trophy in Silverstone , which did not count to the World Cup : Here, Rosberg managed to be the first to cross the finish line. It should be the first and only victory of a Theodore in Formula 1. However, this victory is due to special circumstances. On the one hand, some of the competition stayed away from this race; On the other hand, the race was characterized by heavy downpours, which silted the run-off zones. Numerous pilots driving in front of Rosberg likeNiki Lauda in Brabham got stuck in the mud. In total, only four drivers came to the finish.
At the Grand Prix of the Netherlands Theodore appeared for the first time with the WR4. The car was worse than the WR3. In Zandvoort Rosberg qualified once again for the 24th starting position, but retired in the race after an accident due to jamming throttle cable. The subsequent Grand Prix of Italy was the last Formula 1 race in which the team participated this season. Rosberg missed the pre-qualification with the WR4.
Fourteen days after the Italian Grand Prix, Theodore Racing first announced the Wolf WR3 for the national British Formula 1 Championship, the so-called Aurora AFX series, in which the team remained engaged until the end of 1980.
1979 to 1980
After a break of two years, Theodore returned to Formula 1 as a designer. The team's Formula One involvement in the early 1980s was organizationally based on the Shadow team that Yip overtook in 1980 shortly before his bankruptcy. After two difficult years, he also took over the financially troubled team Ensign, whose infrastructure was the basis for Theodore's participation in the 1983 Formula 1 seasonhas been. Yip's Formula 1 approaches ultimately failed. The takeover of established racing teams in economic difficulties was not a concept that could be sustained in the emerging turbo era. Teddy Yip saw this in late 1983, and since he did not want to accept the financial challenges associated with the turbo engines, set racing in Formula One.
1979 and 1980 , the Theodore team did not appear in the Formula 1 World Cup. During this time, Teddy Yip was only represented as a sponsor in the Formula 1 World Cup. Yip repeatedly supported Mo Nunn's Ensign team; He largely financed the development and construction of the Ensign N179 .
In the spring of 1980, there was the possibility for Teddy Yip to retake Formula One. Founded in 1971, British-American Team Shadow , which had won a world championship race in the mid-1970s and achieved a series of minor successes until 1977, had been lost the main sponsor and part of the technical staff in economic difficulties and, after the newly constructed for the 1980 season Shadow DN11 had proved unfit, before bankruptcy.
In April 1980, Teddy Yip took over the shadow team. From the Grand Prix of Monaco , the team was reported as Theodore Shadow . After the team could qualify with the Yip-funded, all-new Shadow DN12 neither here nor in the subsequent races in Spain and France , Yip hired in June 1980, the racing operation of Theodore-Shadow.
In the second half of the season in 1980, Yip restructured the Shadow team for a new start in the 1981 season. Jo Ramírez was hired as team manager, and former shadow designer Tony Southgate came back into the team. Based on the Shadow team and with the involvement of its own, dedicated in the Aurora series racing team was so in the fall, a new team, which was brought to the starting line under the name Theodore Racing in the Formula 1 World Championship 1981
The newly formed team Theodore Racing first appeared at the Grand Prix of South Africa , a race held in February 1981, which had no World Cup status. As the Southgate-designed new car was not yet operational, the team reported here Theodore TR2 , a barely modified version of last year's Shadow DN12. The driver was Geoff Lees , who had already driven the car for Shadow and Theodore-Shadow the previous year.
With the first World Championship run, the United States Grand Prix , the newly constructed Theodore TY01 , a conventional naturally aspirated car with wing profiles appeared in the side boxes. Theodore only used one vehicle; Patrick Tambay returned to the team as a driver , who finished sixth in the opening race in Long Beach and brought his team a World Cup point. However, there were no other points. In the summer of 1981, Tambay moved to Équipe Ligier . Then he was replaced for the rest of the year by the Swiss Marc Surer . Surer crossed the finish line five times in eight races, but missed the points.
For the 1982 season , Tony Southgate constructed a new vehicle with the Theodore TY02 . The TY02 was still a conservative construction kit car, which was technically unpretentious, but had more attractive lines than its predecessor. In a season in which the dissemination of turbo engines increased, Theodore remained a naturally aspirated team, which used a conventional Cosworth eight-cylinder. In total, two cars were created; the first copy was ready from March 1982.
Theodore Racing was dependent on the use of paydrivers in 1982 . Initially, the team signed the Irishman Derek Daly . At the first race of the season, the Grand Prix of South Africa , he came in 14th place finish. It was the only goal finish for Theodore throughout the season. It was still achieved with the previous year model TY01. The TY02, which was reported from the following race, never saw the finish line: eight times missed the pilot of the TY02 qualification, six times they were due to driving errors or technical defects from.
The team suffered during the entire 1982 season under heavy staff turnover and a high number of accidents. After Derek Daly had denied the first three rounds of the season for Theodore, he moved to the established Williams team, where he replaced Carlos Reutemann . Dalys successor to Theodore was Jan Lammers , who was reported six times from the Grand Prix of Belgium . In his first three appearances for Theodore missed Lammers each qualification. Before the Grand Prix of the United States East Lammers was asked in the French Renault team Alain Prostto replace who had injured in the previous event. Lammers, however, decided to stay with Theodore. Prost eventually drove in Detroit despite his injury to Renault. Lammers crashed in training from Detroit: his TY02 / 1 bounced as a result of a driving error against a concrete wall and was severely damaged. Lammers broke his wrist in the accident and had to miss the following race.
Instead of the Dutchman, Briton Geoff Lees was announced for the Canadian Grand Prix ; Emergency vehicle was here for the first time the second TY02, which had been rebuilt for the North American races. Lee qualified for the penultimate starting place. On race Sunday, Lees was involved in the serious start-up accident, in which the Osella pilot Riccardo Paletti was killed: Lees, who started a series behind Paletti, drove into the Osella of the Italian, who had just over 200 km / h on Didier Pironisstopped Ferrari had crashed. Lee was uninjured, but his car was severely damaged. Since the first TY02 was not yet operational due to Lammers' accident, the Theodore team was unable to participate in the restart of the Canadian Grand Prix.
For the following three races Theodore reported again Jan Lammers. During this time he could only qualify once. In his home race, the Grand Prix of the Netherlands , he was the last in the race and retired after 31 laps due to a motor failure. Prior to the Grand Prix of France , Theodore dissolved the contract with Lammers; his successor was the Irishman Tommy Byrne , who made his Formula 1 debut here. Byrne qualified twice at five events but never finished.
In parallel with the use of his own racing stable Teddy Yip had continued to support Mo Munn's Ensign team in 1981 and 1982. Yip enabled the team at the end of 1981, for example, the move to larger factory buildings and financed the construction of several Ensign cars. At the end of the 1982 season, which was run as unsuccessful for Ensign as for Theodore, Yip took over the Ensign team and merged it, just as he had previously done with Shadow two years with his own team. The new team operating from the former Ensign base and took advantage of the infrastructure there, but was regardless of the Formula 1 season in 1983 reported under the name Theodore Racing for the Formula 1 World Championship.
The team launched 1983 Theodore N183 , which Nigel Bennett had originally designed for Ensign. Unlike in previous years, Theodore reported in 1983 a two-car team. The drivers were Colombian Roberto Guerrero , who had already started for Ensign the year before, as well as former motorcycle world champion Johnny Cecotto from Venezuela, who made his Formula One debut here. Cecotto scored a World Cup point for Theodore at the US West Grand Prix , but could not achieve any further successes after that. During the season he failed four times in the pre-qualification. Guerrero scored no points. After the Grand Prix of Europe in Brands Hatch retired Theodore due to the lack of success in Formula One.
In the years 1978-1980 Theodore entered the British Formula 1 Championship , which bore the name Aurora FX-Series. This was a unior series in which mostly young drivers on disused Formula 1 vehicles should learn how to handle Grand Prix cars. Most races were held on British routes.
Fourteen days after Theodore's last World Championship Formula 1 race in 1978, the team made their first appearance in a race for the Aurora AFX Championship. It was the race in Snetterton, the last race of the season. The driver was the Irishman Dave Kennedy , who used the Wolf WR3. Kennedy was able to achieve an unusual success in this series: In his first race with a Formula 1 car, he overtook u. a. the established Tony Trimmer in the McLaren could ultimately win the race superior. Kennedy, although he had driven only one race, was twelfth in the Aurora Championship with 22 points.
In the 1979 season Theodore Racing competed exclusively in the Aurora series. The team continued to race with David Kennedy, reporting a WR6 wolf that had occasionally been used by the Wolf factory team in the Formula One World Championship the year before . Kennedy was successful. He participated in 14 of 15 races of the championship and was able to win three races. He also reached u. a. a second place and five third places. With 63 points, he finished the season in second behind Rupert Keegan , who was able to retract for the Charles Clowes Racing 65 team.
In 1980, Desiré Wilson , Kevin Cogan , Geoff Lees and Kim Mather drove for Theodore Racing. Emergency vehicles were the wolf WR3 and WR4, which now bore some signs of wear and were no longer a guarantee of success. The best performance showed Desiré Wilson: She won the Easter race at Brands Hatch. She was thus the first and so far only woman who could win a Formula 1 race. Desiré Wilson finished the Aurora Championship in 1980 with 21 points in sixth; she was Theodore's best driver. Kevin Cogan and Kim Mather each brought one more podium position.
From the summer of 1980, Theodore Racing turned again exclusively to the Formula 1 World Championship.
Theodore in Macau
Of particular importance to Teddy Yip was the Macau Grand Prix, a motorsport event held every year since 1954 at the Guia Circuit in Macau in several motor racing classes. Currently it is advertised for Formula 3 as well as touring cars and motorcycles . Yip is considered one of the initiators of this race and participated until 1963 regularly as a driver at the event. His first assignment was scheduled for 1955 in the touring car class; Yip, however, had to withdraw his message after severely damaging his Jaguar XK 120 in training.
Since the 1960s, Yip announced his team Theodore Racing for the Macau Grand Prix, primarily in the Formula 3 class. Theodore Racing was one of the most successful teams in Macao: Between 1975 and 1984, the team won six times the Formula 3 race on the road course. In the 1980s Yip committed again and again Formula 1 stars to increase the attractiveness of the race. For example, Ayrton Senna , Nelson Piquet , Keke Rosberg, Rick Mears and Patrick Tambay arrived in Macao for Theodore.